British Journal of Nutrition

Nutritional Immunology

Dealcoholised beers reduce atherosclerosis and expression of adhesion molecules in apoE-deficient mice

Nuria Martineza1, Mireia Urpi-Sardaa2, Miguel Angel Martinez-Gonzaleza3, Cristina Andres-Lacuevaa2 and Maria Teresa Mitjavilaa1 c1

a1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology, INSA, University of Barcelona, Avinguda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

a2 Department of Nutrition and Food Science, XaRTA, INSA, INGENIO-CONSOLIDER Program, Fun-C-Food CSD2007-063, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Avinguda Joan XXIII s/n, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

a3 Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Medical School, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea 1, 31080 Pamplona, Spain


Polyphenols exert beneficial effects in atherosclerosis. The crucial step in atherosclerosis is the recruitment of monocytes to the subendothelial space, induced by endothelial adhesion molecules through the activation of factors such as NF-κB. We studied the effect of a dealcoholised lager beer (DLB) and a dealcoholised dark beer (DDB) on atherosclerotic lesions, and the underlying mechanisms. Dealcoholised beers were administered in the diet (42 ml/kg body weight per d) to 4-week-old male apoE knockout (apoE − / − ) mice for 20 weeks. The atherosclerotic lesions in the thoracic aorta were reduced by 44 % (P = 0·003) and 51 % (P < 0·001) in DLB- and DDB-treated mice, respectively. Also, the mRNA expressions of the endothelial adhesion molecules in the total aorta were decreased: P-selectin showed a 17 % (P = 0·004) reduction in DDB-treated mice; vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) was decreased by 20 % (P = 0·012) and 32 % (P = 0·001) in DLB- and DDB-treated mice, respectively; intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) showed a 14 % (P = 0·014) reduction in DLB-treated mice. The protein expressions of these molecules and NF-κB were studied in the aortic root. P-selectin was decreased by 37 % (P = 0·012) in DDB-treated mice; VCAM-1 was reduced by 48 % (P = 0·001) and 54 % (P < 0·001) in DLB- and DDB-treated mice, respectively; ICAM-1 was decreased by 25 % (P = 0·028) and 30 % (P = 0·018) in DLB- and DDB-treated mice, respectively; NF-κB was reduced by 46 % (P = 0·042) in DDB-treated mice. In conclusion, dealcoholised beers protected apoE − / −  mice against atherosclerosis, through the modulation of endothelial adhesion molecules, possibly induced by NF-κB.

(Received March 25 2010)

(Revised September 17 2010)

(Accepted September 20 2010)

(Online publication December 07 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Professor M. T. Mitjavila, fax +34 93 4110358, email


Abbreviations: apoE − / − , apoE knockout; DB, dark beer; DDB, dealcoholised DB; DLB, dealcoholised lager beer; ICAM-1, intercellular adhesion molecule-1; LB, lager beer; VCAM-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1